Asthma education is essential for successful individual management of asthma symptoms. On a community level, asthma education and treatment centers are an effective public health intervention for managing asthma. This study, published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, provides an analysis of regional disparities in the distribution of asthma education programs throughout the state of Texas.
Texas is divided into Public Health Regions (PHRs). Information about the prevalence of adult asthma in each PHR was provided by the Texas Department of State and Health Services. Asthma patients and asthma education centers in each Public Health Region in the state were compared. The Geographic Information System program was used to analyze 50- to 70-mile buffer zones between asthma education centers.
The researchers found that many of the 27 asthma education programs were primarily centered around large cities. Public Health Regions 1, 2, and 7 had the fewest and most spread out asthma education programs and the highest asthma prevalence rates. Central Texas and Western Texas were especially affected, and an overall disparity was found between rural and urban areas.
This study provides insight into the effectiveness of asthma education centers. It also offers a demographic analysis that could be useful for implementing additional asthma public health programs. These results may allow for proper resource allocation to rural areas that require more funding to deliver equitable asthma care .
Source: John, J., Baek, J., Roh, T., Cabrera-Conner, L., & Carrillo, G. (2020). Regional Disparity in Asthma Prevalence and Distribution of Asthma Education Programs in Texas. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2020, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9498124